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Tony Stewart's Crash Will Go To A Grand Jury

Illustration for article titled Tony Stewarts Crash Will Go To A Grand Jury

The district attorney in Ontario County, New York announced today that a grand jury will decide whether Tony Stewart's fatal crash into driver Kevin Ward, Jr. warrants a criminal trial.

The DA's office had been investigating the August 9 crash where Stewart's car struck and killed Ward, 20, during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Today the district attorney said a grand jury will examine the case and decide what, if any, charges Stewart could face.


A grand jury could decide to charge Stewart with a crime or they could clear him. Grand jury proceedings are secret, so if the case does go to trial their findings won't be part of it.

Here's the statement from the DA via Fox Sports:

Over the past several weeks I have reviewed with members of the Ontario County Sheriff's Department their investigation, as it progressed, in the Tony Stewart matter. Recently that office concluded its work and forwarded the complete case file to me. Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter. Accordingly, the evidence developed in the investigation will be presented to an Ontario County grand jury in the near future.

As grand jury proceedings in New York State are strictly confidential by law, I am unable to state when the matter will be scheduled, other than to state that I intend to present the matter in the near future. Similarly, because of the confidential nature of these proceedings, I cannot state who will be called as witnesses, or what any witness's expected testimony will be. When the presentation has been completed and a determination has been made, I will advise the public and the media at that time of the results.


Since the wreck Stewart has been back at racing in NASCAR, and called the crash that killed Ward "a sadness and a pain that I hope no one has to deal with in their life."

Now we'll wait and see whether Stewart will face a trial for what happened on that unfortunate day.

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Maybe someone with more knowledge of law can explain better. Does the DA have the authority to throw out the case before the grand jury? Is this a case of him covering his ass, so it can't come back and bite him? Or does there have to be legitimate evidence/reason to bring it to a grand jury?